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Dear Members and Friends, some news and updates for you!

Huxhams Cross Farm, Totnes
: You will be pleased to hear we are working positively with the Dartington Hall Trust and solicitors to finalise the 999 year Lease of the land at Week for Huxhams Cross Farm. We hope to complete soon so that we can then sign the lease/farm business tenancy with the Apricot farm team. 

How will the BDLT secure the land? So far, 125 people have become new BDLT  shareholders by investing £94,300 in community shares towards the purchase of the Huxham’s land and £ 3,754 in gifts. Some people have made short term interest free loans, to a total of £61,500, and there is a £100,000 loan from a friendly foundation. This leaves a ‘gap’ of £50,344 to be met we hope by more gifts and community shares.  So, please consider investing more, giving or making a bequest in your will to help the BDLT with this new farm.  (Updates on figures see pie chart below.)

We are keeping the share offer open until the end of March 2015 so that we can minimise the loan part of the funding. We are negotiating terms with a supporting funding organisation for further shares and a loan which will help us further on our way to making this farm a reality.

Marina O'Connell of the Apricot Centre will develop a community-connected market garden, orchard and small mixed farm. Biodynamics will be used to restore soil fertility and ongoing health of the farm.  It will be a challenge will be to create a new farm from bare land as a green oasis at the heart of the community.  Marina O’Connell looks forward to working practically with local biodynamic members and all interested locals. The conversion to Demeter, farm design and infrastructure development will take up to five years.
Work on Huxhams Cross Farm expected in 2015 includes the building of basic infrastructure:  barn, access, installation of services - water and electricity and sowing green manures. In winter 2015 Apricot plan to plant fruit trees and soft fruit, and trees for wind-breaks and fuel.  These and other such basics will need about £100,000 investment. This figured in the original share offer but has yet to be raised so we will be launching a second share offer later in the spring to get the funds to help make a piece of land into a farm.

The farm location is beautiful, with views towards Totnes. The land is near the South Devon Rudolf Steiner School at Hood Manor, near also to Schumacher College, and abuts a cycle path and links with footpaths from Totnes.
Farm Design Workshops: Two open farm design workshops will be held at Dartington on April 10-12 and May 29-31. Participants will walk through the design process of the farm. The survey process currently underway is gathering the information for the design and we invite all to contribute to and feedback to  this process, forms attached.  Marina O’Connell draws on Biodynamics, agronomy, agro-ecology and permaculture design. These workshops will be relevant to anyone considering their garden, market garden and farm design process. See www.apricotcentre.co.uk for further details.
Bequests to the BDLT?
If you are interested long term in supporting the BDLT, a charity, to secure land for Biodynamics, please  contact Gabriel Kaye, the BDLT Society Secretary on 01453 766296, gabriel@biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk.

One far sighted farmer has left their farm to the BDLT in their will, and there is another promised. Timely gifts and bequests are really important as these help pay off any short term loans we may have taken out to secure biodynamic land.
Biodynamic Land Trust Executive Director: Spring/Summer 2015 Vacancy
The Directors of the Biodynamic Land Trust (BDLT) are looking for a suitable person to fill this part-time post as the founding executive director is retiring in 2015. 
Farm business planning, project management, land agent, facilitation, negotiation, fundraising, leadership and good communication skills are all desirable, with a sound financial, legal and biodynamic or farming grounding. Initial training and support offered.
Job Description and more details from gabriel@biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk
2015 AGM:
We would like to give you advance notice of our AGM which will be held on Saturday 3rd October at Lauriston Farm in Essex alongside the BDAA AGM. We look forward to seeing you there.

So we hope many of you will join in further, in one way or another, with the future of our projects and activities.   It is truly great to work with so many enthusiastic people who are trying to make the world a better place through joining our efforts (and no doubt in many other ways too).

Do have a look at our website with its news and blogs about the Huxhams Cross Farm and other projects; http://www.biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk
 
Wishing you all a great 2015
            Martin, Gabriel and team

 
Changing the world, one biodynamic farm at a time!

Patrick Holden writes that, ‘The Biodynamic Land Trust meets the urgent need for enabling farmers to gain access to land without the crippling burden of debt, and help build sustainable food systems. ’
Apricot Centre news and planning design courses

Dear all, 
A very happy new year from the Apricot Centre team.
2015 will be an exciting year for us at Huxham's Cross; read on below for an update and opportunities to get involved.
But first we would like to thank-you for your generous support through 2014. It really helped motivate us to see so many people enthused by the project, attending events and farm walks. The highlight for me was the share issue meeting in July at Dartington Village Hall, which was packed right back to the door, Matt Harvey compared entertainingly, Marina O'Connell took us through the Apricot Centre vision and  and Martin Large outlined the Biodynamic Land Trust's share scheme details.
Land Update and Shares Available
We hope the transfer of land will take place around end February, and we'll be able to get on to the land as soon as the weather allows to start the process of building soil fertility by planting green manures. We will be visiting the land in February and there will be a farm walk on Thursday 19th Feb at 13.00 - 15.00 with Bob.  
Currently there are 125 shareholders raising £94,300 towards the purchase of the land. Until the  purchase goes through there is a final opportunity to become a shareholder in the land. Visit the Biodynamic Land Trust website to find out more: http://www.biodynamiclandtrust.org.uk. Once this has completed, there will be a further community share offer later this year to raise money for infrastructure costs.  
Design Workshops
There are two design workshops that we are hosting at Dartington in April (10-12) and May (29-31). We will be analysing the information we have gathered so far from the Community, our meetings with planners and from the land itself, and designing the layout of the farm - choosing what food to produce and where on the farm and where to site buildings and place access.
These are exciting ways to get involved, and you can learn something of the permaculture design process and about the biodynamic methods that we will be using. I have attached an advert for further information, and you can check our websiteFacebook and Google+. (see flier and link below)
Following on from these courses, we will start developing the farm based on the designs that we  produce together. Work expected in the summer of 2015 is the building of basic infrastructure - barn and access, and the installation of services - water and electricity. In winter 2015 we will be expecting to plant fruit trees and soft fruit, and trees for wind-breaks and fuel. 
 
Surveys
And finally, a reminder that our Community and Walkers surveys are available for you to complete
online here 
, and attached below. We would love to hear your views on our proposals and for you to contribute your own thoughts and ideas, which we will use as input into the design courses. 
 
Wishing you all the best for 2105. 
 
Regards, 
 
Bob Mehew and the Apricot Centre Team.  

http://www.apricotcentre.co.uk/huxhams-cross-farm

EXTRA INFORMATION BELOW
Courses designing a biodynamic farm

http://www.apricotcentre.co.uk/huxhams-cross-farm/
Copyright © 2015 Biodynamic Land Trust, All rights reserved.


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